Invisible Woman #2 // Review
Sue Richards search for a missing CIA friend has brought her to a seedy nation. Her friend Nick Fury set her up with aid from one of the best spies on the planet: Black Widow. The two team-up in Invisible Woman #2. Superhuman espionage makes its way to the page courtesy of a script by Mark Waid with art by Mattia De Iulis. Waid gets quite a bit of unique mileage out of the superhero as a super-spy concept in an adventure that is given quite a bit of impact by the nuanced line and color of Du Iulis' art.
With all the reality-threatening danger that Sue Richards has stared-down in the past, she's a very formidable hero. But she's not exactly the type of person you'd want to have to look after in the most totally evil place on earth in the Marvel Universe. Black Widow is understandably upset when Fury asks for her aid in finding Sue's friend. Richards proves herself to be more than enough to handle herself in a crime-ridden nation in an encounter that involves entering a very foreboding place. A competitive whiskey-drinking challenge and a chase after a slippery killer.
The dynamic between Black Widow and Invisible Woman is impressively sophisticated, given how little dialogue they're given. Waid renders a very appealing mystery for both heroes as they slink into the shadows in search of information about the missing CIA asset. The plot isn't terribly engaging, but Waid's characterization of the heroes keeps the issue fun straight through to the final page. The secret in pulling this off lies in not over-rendering dialogue or narration. The sparing amount of exposition allows artist and reader to engage with the story in a more effective way than might traditionally happen with a more exhaustive delivery of the plot. In the past, Sue’s been kind of typecast. Occasionally she’ll appear at the darker side of things, but her prevailing presence has always been wholesome and maternal. Waid believably changes that in this series. Once again, Waid is proving that Sue is not only appealing as a supporting character, but she’s capable of being really badass in her own series.It’s fun hanging out with her. She’s the kind of superhero you could do shots with at some seedy bar in Madripoor.
At one point towards the end of the issue, Black Widow flips acrobatically at a moving car, landing in the hood to stare down the guy driving the vehicle. One moment there is no expression on her face. Then there's a slight smile. The contrast between dynamic action and nuanced, little shifts in dramatic delivery make Du Iulis a perfect fit. In a story that mixes over-the-top action with the shadowy world of international espionage. Du Iulis' color gives a striking range of variation in the shadows of Madripoor that make this issue engrossingly atmospheric.
Above all, Mark Waid is delivering a story that shows the Invisible Woman to be a remarkably strong female lead. Her fit in a cloak and dagger story feels so perfect that it's surprising that it's taken Marvel this long to give Sue her own spy mini-series. With only three issues left to go, Waid and Du Iulis run the risk of ending the series without really satisfying. There are so many possibilities for this type of Invisible Woman story. This series feels like it might really get going a few panels before the final page